Pushing Daisies season one review premiere
Fall is upon us and the new season of American shows are premiering one by one like debutants at a slightly sleazy coming-out ball. Pushing Daisies is causing more buzz than most, created as it is by Heroes producer Bryan Fuller. There’s a strong fantasy element in Pushing Daisies where our hero Ned (Lee Pace) has the ability to bring dead people back to life simply by touching them. But nothing comes for free in this universe as if he touches them again they die and don’t come back and if he doesn’t kill them this way within 60 seconds somebody close by will die. So, to quote his namesake Flanders, Ned is really in a dilly of a pickle.
"Ned is a piemaker who spends his time making pie. Aerial Telly is also a piemaker. Yes, Aerial Telly has lost count of the ‘pies’ he’s ‘made’ over the years."
Ned is a piemaker who spends his time making pie. Aerial Telly is also a piemaker – not "making" in a sense of pastry and fillings but rather in the Rolling Stones I Can’t Get No Satisfaction "I’m trying to make some girl" and Blondie’s Atomic "make me tonight" sense. Yes, Aerial Telly has lost count of the "pies" he’s "made" over the years. And they just keep on coming back for more.
"Ned touches them up for 60 seconds, asks them who killed them, then collects the reward money. It’s a nice little sideline if a little creepy.’"
But storyliners have to do something more with Ned than have him cooking up a crust each week so they have him in an arrangement with his P.I. friend Emerson Cod (Chi McBride). They look out for murder victims, Ned touches them up for their 60 seconds of fame, asks them who killed them, touches them all dead before an innocent bystander buys it then collects the reward money. It’s a nice little sideline if a little creepy. But things don’t go according to plan when Ned has to solve the murder of his childhood sweetheart Charlotte "Chuck" Charles (Anna Friel). Chuck doesn’t want to kill the lovely piece of pie he’s still in love with so he lets the 60 seconds pass to keep her alive and a crooked funeral director dies as a result. The trouble is that Ned can now never touch the object of his desire without killing her.
"So the pilot is spent with the piemaker, the P.I. and the pie solving the pie’s murder. It’s Amelie meets Taggart and it’s really very charming indeed."
So the pilot is spent with the piemaker, the P.I. and the pie solving the pie’s murder. The pilot is narrated by Jim Dale from the Carry On films which I think is kind of strange. It’s been described as a "forensic fairy-tale" and that’s about right. It’s Amelie meets Taggart and it’s really very charming indeed. It’s witty, innovative and the chaste love between Ned and Chuck looks like it will be a keeper. Personally I’d have some deus ex machina halfway through season one which allowed them to fuck each other’s brains out – maybe they’ll go with that? Friel’s accent is pretty dicey but she’s cute and her character is good fun. And she has a couple of mad Gothic aunts who look like they will be interesting viewing. ABC have struggled to follow up Lost. Shows like this are a big step in the right direction.
The best thing about it: Visually, it’s sumptuous
The worst thing about it: Anna Friel not really bothering with the accent
The verdict on Pushing Daisies series premiere: A nice slice of feel-good pie.
Marks out of 10: 8